Times When You Always Say “Yes”

My teenage daughter had a rough week. In what is typical teenage fashion, she was moody and irritable for several days before she told me what was going on — and then followed up with a pretty rare question. “Wanna watch a movie together tonight?”

There are some things in life to which you always say yes. 

“Would you like more chips and salsa?” 

Yes. 

“Are you still watching?”

Yes.

“Do you need more Flair pens?”

Obviously.

“Wanna watch a movie together, Mom?” 

Yes. Yes. Yes. 

I’d like to think Shannon and I are closer than typical mother-daughter duos. We’re no Rory and Lorelai, for sure — but we’re not Moira and Alexis Rose, either (I’m talking about Alexis’s teenage years, of course). We argue, and there’s plenty of eye rolling. But there’s a healthy amount of respect for each other, and while I know it may not always be this way, I’m nurturing it for as long as I can.  

Shannon registered for high school this week, and she’s pretty thrilled about the classes she’s taking and the elective “paths” she’s chosen. But still … there’s a nervousness she acknowledges. High school is a big deal, in any young person’s life. It’s a little more overwhelming when you’ve only lived in town for one year, and for the most part grown up in a small private school. 

High school is a big deal in the parents’ lives, as well; one of those occasions where we stop and check our age. I try to avoid old cliches like “It seems like only yesterday … ” but it’s pretty near to the truth. There’s a reason that milestones like the first days of kindergarten, of middle school, of high school take our breath away. Not only a reminder that we’re getting old … but such a stark reminder that our babies are growing up. 

I understand the urge some people have for more children, especially when their youngest hits a certain age. Right now my 6-year-old still loves to snuggle up and read stories. There’s still plenty of hugs each day. And she wants to be with me — right there with me — all the time. 

Honestly, it’s kind of draining. 

But I remind myself that I’ll miss this. I’ll miss Cora wanting to spend time with me, asking to play Rumikub or Uno, and instead be waiting around for the rare times when she requests to spend time with me. 

So right now I soak it up. 

I soak up story time and kid snuggles and bike rides, because I know those teen years aren’t far away. I soak up car rides and shopping trips with my oldest because I know those college years are fast-approaching. 

And when either of my daughters ask if I want to watch a movie — no matter if they’re 13 or 23 or 33 — there will be no question.

There are some things in life to which you always say yes.

* This column first appeared in The Walton Tribune on March 6, 2021 *

3 comments

  1. Emily! I clicked on your name from Twitter and found your blog 🙂 I think of you from time to time with memories of childhood, church, and cheering (How’s that for alliteration??lol). I always thought you were a wonderful writer! Congrats on your column and I look forward to email notifications of more 🙂

    Like

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